What are some of the reasons why you should like or, at the very least, not find it such a chore to read through these legal documents? How is this site's terms and policies similar and different compared to those of other websites and companies?
First impression on the Pinterest Terms of Service
For reference: you can find the Pinterest Terms of Service (TOS) here: https://about.pinterest.com/en/terms-service and here: https://business.pinterest.com/en/business-terms-service.
The first one is the TOS for the personal account while the second is the one for the business account.
My first impression when I got to the personal TOS page was that "we're off to a good start".
At the top of the page, just below the header and navigation menu, you can see the words "thank you for using Pinterest".
This gives the vibe and the impression that the site values and cares about its members and users.
How Pinterest shows that it cares?
The visual bookmarking platform actually invites you to contact them by saying:
"Please read these Terms carefully, and contact us if you have any questions."
Proof that Pinterest cares about you:
- Yes, that's right. It doesn't just seem like Pinterest cares
- It does care. Try contacting them and asking questions to see for yourself
- I had questions about this social networking site too so I decided to send them a message
- Guess what? They actually responded. A real human answered my questions and they didn't just send some generic automated reply or, worse, not answer the question at all
They even include a link to their contact us page.
However, it should be noted that you'll get much more help if you already have a Pinterest account because the contact form requires you to input your username before you can send your message.
But if all you need is just general guides or tutorials, their contact form can still be of use to you and they even provide a detailed help center that's chock-full of information.
The simple fact that they actually invite you to contact them if you have any questions or concerns really shows and illustrates their willingness to help people.
Annotations in the Pinterest Terms of Service
The Pinterest TOS also gives the impression that it wants you (the readers) to understand all the legal jargon that it talks about.
Why and how? This is by making the TOS readable and user-friendly. The terms include annotations that you can find on the right side of the page. They're inside cute little boxes with the heading "more simply put".
It does exactly what it says on the tin - it tries to explain all the legal stuff in ways that a human can actually understand without having to be some lawyer or without having to go and get a dictionary or having to use search engines like Google to find the meanings of these terms and phrases.
Different Tos for Different Pinterest Accounts
On Pinterest, you can have either a personal or business account and there's a corresponding TOS for each type.
A personal account:
- is for those who jut want to use this visual bookmarking platform to have fun
- is for those who just want to pin pics without adding affiliate links or without trying to make money from their pins
Choose this type if you're planning to use Pinterest for non-commercial purposes.
A business account:
- is for those who want to use Pinterest for commercial purposes
- you can pin images that include links to your website or blog so you can drive traffic to them via this platform
The Pinterest Personal Account TOS
The Terms of Service for the Pinterest personal account is very user-friendly.
You can easily tell that this is really meant for regular, ordinary people who just want to have fun on this social networking site without having to deal with all the legal jargon.
This TOS is so simple that even children can understand it (which makes sense since this site is for people who are 13 years old and above).
You definitely won't be getting a headache if you try to read through the whole thing in one sitting.
It's not all that boring either.
Of course, the annotations are a great help but even the document itself isn't all that full of legal jargon.
How Pinterest makes their personal account TOS fun to read?
Pinterest actually tries to make their TOS pretty funny and amusing by injecting humor in some parts of the document. For example, look at this:
Something to think about or just a little trivia for you:
- Actually, the Terms of Service of Pinterest reminds me of the TOS of Tumblr (microblogging platform and social networking site)
- Why? It's because the Tumblr TOS has annotations too. And, yes, it was also pretty easy to understand and read through though it is definitely much longer
- Aside from that, both are good examples of websites with readable and understandable terms.
- Both are also pretty good when it comes to injecting a bit of humor in their TOS to make it much more fun for their readers so you won't have to feel like you're doing a really boring chore by reading through these legal stuff
"The Bay Area is beautiful this time of year. It doesn't matter what time of year it is, that's what's so great! Anyway, you'll have to sue us here."
They even try to be a bit cheeky at times, which some might also find amusing. For instance, they say:
"Most of that stuff is awesome but we're not responsible when it's not...
"If we are sued because of something your business does on Pinterest, you have to pay our costs.
"Also, you should have created a business account and agreed to our commercial terms in the first place."
It's important to note though that, while the personal TOS does have annotations, it's incomplete. Some parts of the document don't include annotations but that's not a problem at all because, as mentioned, the terms itself isn't all that hard to understand at all.
The Pinterest Business Account TOS
At first glance, the business TOS of Pinterest doesn't seem all that user-friendly. It's much, much longer than the personal one and it doesn't have a single annotation.
But, if you read through it, you'll see and find that a lot of it is similar to the regular TOS and that this one is really not that hard to understand at all.
A large part of it is also similar to the TOS that appears in other sites so if you've read one of those terms and policies, then it's pretty much like you've read them all (with maybe a few differences or so here and there).
- 1 star: worst TOS I ever read; wasted so many minutes of my life that I'm never getting back
- 2 stars: ugh, it was bad, okay, really bad
- 3 stars: eh, it wasn't that bad, but I wouldn't say I like it or anything
- 4 stars: it was pretty good; didn't mind reading it and didn't feel like I wasted my time
- 5 stars: awesome; one of the best and easiest-to-read TOS ever
Just like with the TOS, the site thanks you for using their platform.
They even outright state that they've tried to explain everything in a clear and simple way.
They also include a link to their contact form in case people have some questions or concerns.
Just like they promised at the top of the page, they really did try to make things easy for their readers.
What do you think?
© 2015 Freya Yuki